Expecting? Make Sure You Are Well-Versed in Seat Belt Safety!
Ask anyone if they know how to wear a seat belt, and there's a good chance they will roll their eyes and tell you that they obviously know how to pull a safety belt across their shoulder and waist and click it into a buckle. They learned how to properly secure a seat belt when they were just children and it has become second nature for them.
However, do you think these same people would be able to tell a pregnant woman how to buckle up safely? Do you think they would even realize that a pregnant woman has to be careful about how they wear their seat belt? Few individuals realize that car accidents are the leading cause of traumatic fetal death, and that every year 160 pregnant women are killed in car wrecks. How a woman wears her seat belt can play an extremely important role in whether she and her unborn child lives or dies in a motor vehicle accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) takes an active interest in the health and wellbeing of expecting mothers on our nation's roads, and they have issued a few recommendations when it comes to seat belt safety for pregnant women:
- Wear your seat belt! Some pregnant women may find seat belts uncomfortable, while others may think they are better off without wearing one, but the truth is that seat belts are the best way for an expecting mom to protect herself and her fetus.
- Secure the lap strap below your belly. By placing the lap strap across your hips and pelvis, you are keeping yourself secure, but also keeping your fetus safe from the tightening effect of the belt in a crash. If the belt is worn across the belly, it could crush the uterus and cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall in an accident.
- Don't move the shoulder belt. Keep the shoulder belt across your chest and away from your neck. The shoulder strap is going to help hold you back in an accident so your belly does not get crushed by the wheel.
As an expecting mother, you need to do everything you can to protect your child, even before he or she is born. We see far too many car accidents happening in Houston every day, so please be safe when you're on the road.
If you know any women who are currently pregnant, please share this article with them. In the 30 seconds it takes to pass this blog post along, you may help save the life of a mother and her unborn child.
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